South Routt superintendent again finalist for new job | SteamboatToday.com

South Routt superintendent again finalist for new job

Teresa Ristow

— South Routt School District Superintendent Darci Mohr is one of four finalists for a superintendent’s position at the East Grand School District in Granby.

Mohr said Monday she first applied for the superintendent post in East Grand three years ago and wasn't named as a finalist, so she was unsure of whether she'd be considered for the position now but wanted to throw her name in the running.

"I've always been very interested in East Grand, and it's a great location and school district," said Mohr, who has served as South Routt's superintendent since summer 2014. "An opportunity to apply there doesn't come up very often."

The East Grand School District is about four times larger than South Routt, with 1,300 students spread across two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and a K-8 charter school.

Mohr recently was a finalist for another superintendent’s position in Rapid City, South Dakota, though she wasn't selected for the job.

Mohr said she was interested in the Rapid City job because she would be closer to her mother, who is in need of skilled nursing services. She said that the position in East Grand would be closer to family members on the Front Range, and she would consider moving her mother to that area, which has more healthcare options.

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South Routt Board of Education President Jules Palyo said the board was surprised to hear Mohr had applied in East Grand, when they previously had thought she was only interested in positions in South Dakota.

"The board was surprised because we had been told that she wasn't interested in applying anywhere else," Palyo said. "It was one thing when she applied in South Dakota, but East Grand is so close to our district."

Mohr acknowledged Monday that she may appear to be sending mixed messages about her future in South Routt, considering a meeting last week where she was brought to tears by the school board's discussion of hiring an administrator that might not be Mohr.

The board last Wednesday discussed whether to make a "superincipal" position — which Mohr currently holds — a more permanent job, but the conceptual conversation quickly turned to a discussion of whether Mohr would be the superincipal or if someone new would take the job.

Mohr said she had expected the board to discuss the concept of a superincipal but was caught off guard when the conversation turned to a discussion of her current contract with the district.

"It became very personal and that really is more appropriate in a confidential executive session," Mohr said.

Palyo acknowledged Monday that he misspoke when suggesting that the board should open up the potential superincipal position to all possible applicants, considering Mohr has a contract with the district into 2017.

Palyo said the comment should not have been taken as a suggestion that he or the board was unhappy with Mohr's performance as the current superincipal.

"Overall, I think Darci has been doing a good job," Palyo said.

Palyo said the board would continue discussing the logistics of the district using a superincipal in the future.

He also said there are concerns among the board members about who will lead the district in the future should Mohr accept a position elsewhere.

"I think as a board it would be irresponsible if we weren't looking at the possibility that Darci may not be running the district," Palyo said.

Also in the running for the East Grand position is Scott Mader, former superintendent of the Hayden School District from 1998 to 2004 and former South Routt superintendent from 2008 to 2014.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow